Brains, Bodies, and the Task of Discipleship: Re-Aligning Anthropology and Ministry | Matthew C. Bingham

Exploring the intersection of anthropology and ministry, this article offers an appreciative critique of recent authors who suggest that effective Christian discipleship requires holistic, bodily engagement. James K. A. Smith and others have helpfully drawn attention to ways in which contemporary evangelical approaches to Christian formation can risk over-emphasizing the transfer of information while neglecting things like desire, love, and imagination. Having thus diagnosed the problem, these authors suggest that the solution lies in a turn towards “embodied rituals” that they believe can more effectively form the whole person. Through a critical evaluation of this proposal, the present article seeks to distinguish between its attractive aspects and those which would unhelpfully undermine the Reformation emphasis on the primacy of Word ministry. The article concludes by suggesting ways in which evangelicals might advance a more holistic approach to discipleship that is congruent with longstanding Reformation priorities. [Read More]